Nearby Roan Mountain has the largest natural Catawba rhododendron garden in the world.  A couple of weekends ago, I heard on the news that the Rhododendron Festival was ongoing and that the flowers were near their peak.  I’ve been wanting to go see them for years, but always seem to miss when they bloom.  This was my chance. On Wednesday of last week, I loaded Tippy and my mom and dad in the car and we headed off for a day in the mountains.

We stopped at the Roan Mountain visitors center for a break and to get information on exactly where we needed to go to see the flowers.  The lady behind the desk gave us a map and then said words I wasn’t expecting to hear:  “The blooms are almost all gone.”  Really?!  That’s not what they had said on the news.  Later, we overheard some other visitors talking about this.  They said that a heavy storm had come through on Sunday night and knocked a lot of the flowers off.   I guess that explains it.

Tippy, mom, and dad at the welcome center
My mom and dad with Tippy at the Roan Mountain Welcome Center

Of course, since we were there, we drove on up to the top of the mountain to see what was left of the blooms.

Sign at the gardens
Sign at the entrance to the gardens.

The sign tells you that you are standing at an elevation of 6,286 feet (1.9km) and, therefore, will see a forest that typically grows in Canada.  I found that to be interesting.

We walked the short, concrete loop, stopping to admire the flowers and views along the way.  Even though they weren’t at their peak, we still found it to be very pretty and can only imagine what it would have looked like if all of the shrubs were completely covered in blooms.

There were other interesting things along the path, including trees, rotting logs, and patches of fern.


I was proud of how well Tippy behaved around the crowds of people and other dogs who were there.

We stopped at the bottom of the mountain for a picnic lunch.  When I got the ham out of the cooler for our ham and cheese sandwiches, I realized I had brought the container that was almost empty.  Dad got ham and cheese.  Mom and I got to have a cheese only sandwich.  LOL


After lunch, we explored the area around the mountain stream. It was very pretty and relaxing.  I just love the sound of water flowing over rocks.  After lots of trial and error, I got a decent picture of Tippy.  She still wouldn’t look at me though.

Tippy by the water
This is as good as it is going to get, mom.

Here are a few of the outtakes.  At first, she would walk away as I was snapping the picture.  Once she decided to do a sit/stay, she refused to look at the camera.

On the way home, we spotted this sign along the road.  We just had to turn around to investigate.

drive in church
Humm? Peaked our curiosity.

It wasn’t all all what we were expecting.  Just a two layered parking lot facing this small building with a sign that said to tune your radio to an FM station.  We do wonder if someone sits or stands here and preaches or if they are listening to the sermon that is being given in the traditional church, which sits just to the left of this picture.

drive in church 2
Drive-in church.

We all enjoyed our day in the mountains.  It wore Tippy out, as is evidenced by the fact that she was lagging way behind when we took our normal walk later in the evening.

a tired Tippy lagging behind
Wait on me. I’m a little slow when I’m tired.

29 thoughts on “ROAN MOUNTAIN

      1. I hate them too. My dog is too small for “the pill”. He’s only slightly over 4 lbs and they need to be at least 5 lbs for that, I do give him the neck drops and that seems to be working. When we lived in Alabama I was surprised he didn’t get more, but here in California, the first year here I picked off of him at least 3-4 daily! And we’re in a residential neighborhood. Go figure.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow. That is a lot for a residential neighborhood. Tippy has no problems meeting the required 5 pounds limit. 😉 I’m glad she can take that, but it makes life so much easier. I dislike the neck drops because they are so greasy and messy. Have you tried any of the tick collars? I’ve heard they are better than they used to be.

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      3. No, I’ve not tried them, they seem so caustic. I only need to do the drops like every two months with him. They seem to last longer than they say and I only do it this time of year,

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I only give Tippy the pill for 6 months. I have yet to find any on her during the colder months of the year. I’m glad I don’t have to give them to her year round.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. What a fun-looking hike! The flowers looked beautiful. It was startling to learn that so many had already been knocked over in a storm, but the remaining ones were gorgeous. Loved the pictures!

    I so enjoy those kinds of outings. They really relax you, and I always end up feeling so tired and peaceful when I return home. It’s something about the sound of natural water — it’s so soothing and decompressing. It’s always invigorating to get out into nature whenever you can — even if all you have is a cheese sandwich, LOL. 🙂

    I loved Tippy’s picture, too! You would never suspect that she wasn’t the most cooperative subject. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It was a fun day. I get out in nature as often as possible. I guess that is why I majored in Biology in college, even though my profession wound up being an Electrical Engineer. Sometimes pictures don’t tell the whole story. 😉

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  2. What a pretty place! I never look at the camera either when my humom wants a nice picture. It only works when she’s holding up a delicious treat! I bet Tippy would look over if you saved her some of that cheese! BOL!

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    1. The flowers were still beautiful. I hope to catch them in full bloom next year. I’m glad that you loved Tippy’s picture. Maybe I should change my story and say that was the look I was going for. LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful walk and there were still a few flowers too! Tippy does not look comfortable with the camera and personally I am not a fan of ‘manipulated’ poses encouraged by treats. I love images where dogs look natural and I actually like your photographs where she is walking away and looking at the scenery ☺💖 xxx

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    1. Thank you. I don’t know why I think I have to have posed pictures of her. I actually prefer candid photographs of people. I just hadn’t thought of it before. Isn’t that silly? I did think it was funny when I only caught her tail as she walked away. LOL

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  4. Looks like a wonderful day!

    If it makes you feel any better, Choppy – she of the awesome posing – pretty regularly refuses to look at the camera when we’re outside and I’ve made her sit. It’s like she’s unable to concentrate on more than one thing when outside in nature, as if looking at the camera and sitting when there is so much to smell and see if just too much for her to deal with.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s good to know that the queen of posing gets distracted too. That does make me feel better. LOL I think I am going to start embracing the candid photos of Tippy and stop trying to make her pose. We’ll both enjoy our outings more.

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  5. Awe, too bad you missed seeing the blooms at their peak but you still captured some great shots. Love Tippy’s outtakes 😆 And the Fishery sounds a little fishy 😉 It looks like you all had a great day!!

    Liked by 1 person

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